Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Winterburn: Why I Fear the Sol Revival Will Be Short-Lived at Emirates; Former Arsenal Star Says Defender Is Fooling Himself If He Thinks He Can Be a Major Player This Season. Simon Johnson Reports

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Winterburn: Why I Fear the Sol Revival Will Be Short-Lived at Emirates; Former Arsenal Star Says Defender Is Fooling Himself If He Thinks He Can Be a Major Player This Season. Simon Johnson Reports

Article excerpt

Byline: Simon Johnson reports

NIGEL WINTERBURN today expressed his surprise at Arsene Wenger's decision to re-sign Sol Campbell for Arsenal and suggested the former England international will struggle to make an impact at the Emirates Stadium.

Campbell, who last played for the club in the Champions League Final defeat against Barcelona in 2006, has signed for the rest of the season.

The 35-year-old (below) is hoping the move will resurrect his career having joined League Two side Notts County on a five-year contract in August only to walk out a couple of days after making his debut against Morecambe. Former team-mate Martin Keown has tipped Campbell to force his way into England's World Cup squad now that he is playing under Wenger again, but Winterburn feels the defender may struggle to get a game for Arsenal, let alone the national team.

He said: "I'm a little bit surprised that Arsenal have signed him again but it's more circumstances than anything else.

"I don't expect Sol to play a lot of games. Arsene doesn't bring back people for sentimement.

He doesn't usually let players back in. He has obviously been monitoring Sol and what his fitness is like. "They have little cover for the first choice centre-backs in William Gallas and Thomas Vermaelen. There are no young ones coming through. Philippe Senderos wants to go and that just leaves Mikael Silvestre. When you are challenging on three fronts you need more than one player to act as cover.

"That's why Arsene has gone for it. If Gallas and Vermaelen stay fit they will still play the majority of games. We might just see Sol in the FA Cup.

"I think Sol would be very naive to think he is going to be a major player at the club in his position now, I'm sure he knows that.

"He has to be mentally ready to play a big part in case someone does get injured. He may just play four games or if someone does drop out it could be more like 15. He has been an impressive player, but people don't look back and it's about what he can offer now.

"If his game is at the same level, his fitness is okay and he's mentally right, then on a short-term basis he will do a good job. …

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